A GMB member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by a council has been compensated following help from Thompsons Solicitors.

David Carr, 65, from Rotherham has received £6,000 in damages after suffering from occupational deafness.

Mr Carr’s hearing became damaged while working for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council during the 1960s and 1970s.

Exposed to excessive noise

He worked as a roadworker, JCB driver, HGV driver and mower for the council where he was exposed to excessive noise.

As a roadworker he was exposed to unsafe levels of noise from tools like jackhammers, drills and vibrator rollers for up to five hours a day.

He was exposed to engine noise for just as long when working as a driver on JCBs, HGVs and lawnmowers.

Mr Carr was diagnosed with deafness and tinnitus in both ears after a check up in the workplace in August 2009.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

After his diagnosis he contacted his trade union, the GMB, which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council admitted liability and Thompsons secured a settlement out of court for £6,000.

Mr Carr, who is now retired said: “We were never warned about the dangers at the time. We just got on with our work and never imagined what damage it was doing to our hearing. All these years later I’m now left hard of hearing. It can leave you feeling isolated and I now wish we had been given the correct protection for our ears to have avoided this happening.”

Employees should be provided with protection against avoidable dangers

Paul McCarthy, GMB North West Regional Secretary said: “Industrial deafness is usually a condition associated with factory workers and those using pneumatic drills. As Mr Carr’s case shows employers who have staff driving heavy machinery must also be aware of their responsibility to provide suitable hearing protection.”

Jeremy Hague from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Often employees develop hearing problems as they get older and don’t associate it with the work they were doing decades earlier.

“Employers must ensure employees are provided with protection against avoidable dangers at work - including excessive noise levels.”